Michael Novak was born in Los Angeles, and lived in New York City for ten years before moving to Portland in 2007—officially placing him in the category of “person most despised by native-born Portlanders.” Over a 20-year career, he’s been an editorial Art Director at Time Warner and Portland Monthly, as well as an illustrator, designer, animator, and storyboard artist. 

The highlight of Mike’s brief animation career was a year-long stint as a character layout animator on the Fox show King of The Hill, before he decided that drawing Hank Hill all day long was pretty damn boring. After the act of sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring put the kibosh on his freelance illustration career, he discovered design, which he loves.

His duties at Portland Monthly consist of making the magazine look and read awesomely, by designing covers, features, and pretty much anything else. In his free time he likes to sleep.

Design Directory

The Ultimate Guide to Portland Design Specialists

Got a passion project? These locals can help craft and construct it—beautifully.

09/21/2017 By Kelly Clarke and Chad Walsh

Think Small

Beyond Tiny Homes: 3 Inspiring Small Spaces

You can trick out an Airstream, reinvent the office, and tackle society’s woes.

09/21/2017 By Rachel Wilson, Brian Libby, and Marty Patail

Trophy Case

8 Winning Portland Design Finds

From beautiful brass mobiles to bold boxing gloves for women, these locally designed goods are a step above.

09/21/2017 By Eden Dawn

Get Stacked

Which Overpriced Hipster Design Magazine Is for You?

Japanese handicrafts, West Coast gardens, and extremely expensive denim—take your pick.

09/21/2017 By Zach Dundas

Urban Future

What Kind of Development Does Portland Need Right Now?

We asked three local players for their take.

09/21/2017 By Fiona McCann

Style

A Refugee Saga Shapes a New Portland Shop’s Compassionate Ethos

Project Object, which donates 10 percent of its profits to good causes, has one helluva origin story.

09/21/2017 By Eden Dawn

Sweat Equity

An All-Natural Portland Deodorant Brand Goes Big

Schmidt's started in a Foster-Powell home. Now it's got a massive factory and a Florida-based investor.

09/13/2017 By Rachel Wilson

Advertising

A Portland Ad Agency Plays Matchmaker with Bands and Brands

"This is like a young fawn in the forest."

09/13/2017 By Rebecca Jacobson

Dispatch

Will a 200-Mile Trail Come to the Columbia River Gorge?

Imagine a seamless loop spanning both sides of the Columbia.

08/14/2017 By Rachel Wilson

Eat Here Now

We Thought Portland Had Reached Peak Sandwich. Stacked Proves Us Wrong.

And ups the ante with some seriously impressive salads.

08/14/2017 By Benjamin Tepler

Recipes

The Solo Club's Amari Aces Share 3 Spritzer Recipes

Transform the random stuff in your kitchen into a refreshing cooler.

08/14/2017 By Benjamin Tepler

Veggie Love: Essential Eats

5 Must-Eat Vegan Dishes in Portland

From ramen to pizza to doughnuts, here’s a handful of the city’s essential plant-based eats.

08/14/2017 By Kelly Clarke

News to Chew

Fire at Big's Chicken, Dana Frank Leaves Dame, and More PDX Food News

… including Biwa's rebirth, the opening of Level Beer, and a Steven Smith Teamaker outpost in Korea.

07/13/2017 By Benjamin Tepler

Dining Guide

15 Portland Seafood Spots Worth a Deep Dive

From ceviche to sushi, oysters to octopus, here are some of the best spots for devouring Cascadia's briny bounty.

07/10/2017 By Eat Beat Team

Restaurant Review

Güero and Chalino Riff On Mexican Cuisine—with Unexpected Results

The Mexican-inspired spots are two of Portland's most anticipated restaurants this year. How do they stack up?

07/10/2017 By Karen Brooks

Style

Take a Peek at Portland's Best Eyewear

From throwback John Lennon rounds to lenses that support kittens, the days of mall shopping for glasses are over.

07/10/2017 By Eden Dawn

Winning Finds

Fizzy Cold Brew to Perfect Picnic Blankets, the Best Local Stuff for a Lazy River Day

Headed to the water? Pick up these essentials first.

07/10/2017 By Eden Dawn

Books

6 Young Adult Books by Oregon Authors to Read This Summer

School’s out, sun’s out. From tales of resistance to interplanetary travel to a trailer park in Eugene, this crop of local young adult writers has summer reading covered.

06/12/2017 By Fiona McCann

Recipes

The Secret to the Heavenly Birds at Big's Chicken? Mayonnaise.

Here's how to make this delicious, hickory-bathed barbecue stunner at home.

06/12/2017 By Benjamin Tepler

Ideas & Innovations 2017: Social Entrepreneurs

4 Big Ideas Making Portland a Better City Right Now

From ice cream as brain food to the alley of the future, these local initiatives are making a difference.

06/12/2017 By Ramona DeNies and Zach Dundas